Ken Mueller suggested that I write up the ABCs of Social Media – kind of like a kids’ guide to this crazy and wacky world. People warned me that this was a difficult task, and I see what they mean. Even so, hopefully you’ll be able to frame this, let your kids learn from it, and then, just when your kids are ready to jump on the computer, inform them that all of these ideas are now obsolete (that’s what I’m imagining will happen anyway!).
Here we go!
Allow time to learn the ropes. A lot more time than you think you’ll need.
Begin with a plan. Plans are good. They help you plan things!
Choose the kind of persona you want to send out into the online ether early on.
Don’t mind what other people are doing. Keep an eye on your own goals.
Eavesdrop on people you respect. Watch for helpful hints that could make your life easier.
Failure only exists if you deem it so. Nobody can really know your metrics except you.
Grow your community, don’t just grow yourself.
Help others as much as possible along the way.
Imitation is a form of flattery in some circles, but too much of it can get you uncircled (and unfriended).
Joking around is okay, but remember, a lot of people won’t see the full context. Everything you say needs to be okay standing alone.
Killing a blog to start a new one may seem like a great idea, but the next one will place many of the same obstacles in your way.
Limitations on your potential are as real as Russell Crowe’s imaginary friends in A Beautiful Mind.
Manage your time very carefully. Otherwise your life will be eaten!
Never say something you would be ashamed of in front of your dearest family member or your boss.
Open your mind to new ideas even as you dedicate yourself to the path you want to travel.
Playing “hard to get” online just makes people move on to the next person. It’s about engaging, folks.
Quit making the numbers your number one goal. In the end, there is a lot more that matters more.
Risk is inherent in Social Media. You’re putting your ideas out into the universe. Be ready to defend yourself and be ready for gratitude.
Spread yourself evenly across social media platforms. Don’t expect yourself to do everything perfectly, and if something is too much and you don’t really need it – say g’bye!
Try to spice up your content across platforms. If someone is following you everywhere and they see the same status update everywhere, they might get tired of you!
Understanding that everyone has their own way of doing things is essential. For the most part, there’s no right or wrong.
Vary who you talk to no matter where you are. Avoid the clique syndrome.
Walk your talk. You lose credibility every time you don’t follow your own advice!
Xeroxing went out of style. So will Twitter. Be ready to adapt.
Your quest for favors from others must be traveled with care and caution or your game can end in a very sad way.
Zillions of people are using these platforms. Deciding to break through takes time, a lot of work, a lot of creativity, and a lot of great people supporting you. Be patient. It’ll happen.
Image by Kriss Szkurlatowski. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/hisks